Sandra Bland is still on the hearts and minds of many people across the U.S. as the days since her death on July 13, 2015, grow more distant, when she was found dead of alleged suicide hung in a Waller County, Texas, jail cell with a trash bag around her neck. The highly edited video from Officer Brian Encinia’s dash cam is blatant and an affront to the intelligence of the American public to expect anyone to believe the faulty, suspect footage was a result of some kind of glitch or other technical abnormality. Ava DuVernay, director of hit Hollywood film, Selma, thinks as much, as well, and she knows video editing when she sees it.
It seems apparent that there is all kinds of criminal wrongdoing on behalf of Encinia, and perhaps against others making up Waller County’s larger law enforcement, but what chance at justice does Sandra Bland really have when Kendrick Johnson’s killer(s) still walk free?
Remember Kendrick Johnson? He’s that black 17-year-old Voldesta, Georgia, teen who was beaten to death and stuffed in some old gym mats at Lowndes High School, whose body was found Jan. 11, 2013. Or, if you believe the authorities’ posited version, the kid who willingly crawled into the mats after his gym shoes, only to asphyxiate. Forget for the moment that that version does not explain why Johnson was covered in bruises across his face, as if he’d been beaten, and his gym shoes were actually below his feet in the rolled up mats, so he wasn’t climbing in reaching for shoes unless he went in from the opposite end, feet first, and tried backing up all the way down the mat – which makes no sense at all.
You know, Kendrick Johnson? That same kid whose killer(s) were never arrested, never charged, who walk free to this day despite Johnson’s family saying they know who killed their beloved. He’s that same kid whose organs later turned up stolen when the family found he was actually stuffed with newspaper. And just like Sandra Bland, he’s that kid who had blatant video evidence that some kind of cover-up had taken place. Take a look at Kendrick Johnson’s suspect video, and then watch Bland’s suspect video and see if you recognize any similarities:
Just like Sandra Bland, footage surrounding Johnson in the school gym that day is heavily doctored and edited. People appear and disappear mid-frame. It’s obvious, it’s blatant, and it’s insulting to expect the public to believe anything other than that footage was altered, and everyone knows why that would be the case. Something foul was afoot and someone with influence was either responsible, or got involved to help someone else of influence when they should have reported the matter to authorities and let justice run its course, instead.
But what happens in Sandra Bland’s case when the ones needing to be reported are the authorities? If Kendrick Johnson could not get a proper investigation and receive justice against merely white classmates and perhaps an administration official or two at a typical American suburban high school, what chance does Sandra Bland really have at justice?
This is one of thousands of reasons why #BlackLivesMatter.